It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m one of those people. You know the type. The people who look at ingredient lists and nutritional values on the back of packages at the grocery store. Wanna know calories by types of booze? I can tell ya! I’m not proud of this but I sort of have to accept that it’s who I am. I read up on everything, get throughly prepared, then ignore every single bit of information I’ve managed to learn. Efficient!
As such, I went on a journey to discover the casual and technical implications of starting my own blog and found that there’s not that much info out there. Sure there are tons of general guidelines on how to create a successful blog, some of which are even adapted to aniblogging specifically, but no one really tells you what to expect!
I’ll admit that this is probably because the experience is highly personal and different for everyone… Let’s ignore that! Here are the Top 5 things to know before starting an anime blog (based on personal experience and possibly not applicable to anyone else)
5. Everyone already knows that
A lot of anime bloggers aren’t necessarily an active part of the community otherwise, and even less so in real life. The most common reason for starting an anime blog is always, I wanted to find a community to talk about anime with. As such, when we start out our blog we often feel like we are throwing out something revolutionary out there.
Clearly no one thinks about anime as much as we do, so no one’s come up with this harebrained theory or analyzed that super obscure series. You painstakingly selftranslated a visual novel, there’s no way anyone else has even heard of it.
We are all passionate here and we have all seen, analyzed, thought about way too much anime. That doesn’t mean you should publish that post. You most definitely should. We are anime fans, we want to read as much as we can about it. Just don’t be disappointed when the first comment is, oh yeah…I read a very similar post a while back…
4. Actually people are almost suspiciously nice
I have often spoken that I did not interact too much with other fans. However, there was a general perception out there that anime fans were not always the most welcoming or tolerant. When you factor in the internet’s natural tendency towards toxicity, and I was gearing myself up to get chewed out regularly, regardless of what I actually wrote.
Don’t get me wrong, some fandoms do get very defensive about their favorite shows and can occasionally become prickly when you disagree. But although the larger anime community seems to be filled with occasionally aggressive gatekeepers or the “well actually” folks, I have found that the anime wordpress community has been nothing but kind and supportive.
If you just take the time to get to know these folks a little, you will be rewarded by opened minded, intelligent folks willing to discuss your favorite hobby with you, cheer on your successes and cheer you up during the harder times. It’s pretty amazing really. So there’s no need to go into blogging all defensive and stuff. You won’t need an armor, no one is attacking.
3. Watching anime is difficult
I know what you’re thinking. You LOVE anime. You watch TONS of anime. If you could, you would do nothing but watch anime. And you like writing as well, so writing about anime is going to be a breeze! Trust me when I say 1) you don’t watch as much anime as you think you do. 2) Watching anime is hard.
Sure, your MAL page may say that you’ve wasted the equivalent of your life on nothing but watching anime, and sure it may be your no 1 hobby but sometimes you don’t watch anime. Sometimes you watch TV or play video games. I hear that some people also go outdoors occasionally. I’m not sure why… But while you’re doing that, you’re not watching anything you can review. You’re not getting ideas for new posts or else you’re going to stray from your format.
Your mindset becomes very different when you feel like you HAVE to watch anime. Even if it’s self-imposed.
One of the most common reason I hear people stop posting on their anime blogs is that they just don’t watch as much anime anymore. Or they don’t have time. They got anime exhaustion. It’s a thing! You should know about it!
2. You will care
Maybe you are starting your blog with no expectations whatsoever, or maybe you’re just a cool, relaxed, confident person who isn’t defined by their performance, let alone their blogs. Trust me, no matter how indifferent you think you are, you will care about some random indicator of performance at some point. It’s fine. We’re goal oriented creatures after all.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong about wanting your blog to succeed on some level. Just be prepared to catch yourself checking stats or comparing yourself to others, or just wishing you would get a certain number of views or attract people with peculiar search terms… Point is, the blog is a much more emotional experience than I had expected. The odd attachment we form with the abstract idea of our writing is difficult to put in words, and greatly varies from one person to the next, but is always present in some way.
This isn’t either a positive or a negative. If you happen to be a very sensitive person expect some ups and downs. Then again, you’re probably use to those by now!
1. You are better than you think
It may shock you to know that I in fact write a lot and often. I also argue a lot. This is how I know for a fact that I have a tendency to ramble and my grammar is more creative than correct. Essentially, I am not an objectively good writer. There’s a reason I chose to study numbers rather than letters. So, I started this blog thinking I would be very bad at it. Difficult to understand and possibly a little boring. And maybe I am. This thing is, I hadn’t properly understood what a blog is.
I am a bad journalist and pretty pitiful teacher. And that’s fine. Because I’m not trying to inform or educate you. I’m trying to have a chat. And, even if I do say so myself, I am a pretty decent conversationalist. Somehow, I hadn’t figured out that, that was the skill I would be exploiting.
Fact is, no matter what your weaknesses and personal drawbacks may be, you will eventually find your voice. Your particular format and style. And once you do, you’ll realize that it’s fine if you aren’t good at writing jokes or if you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of anime. The anime blogging world is pretty big and there’s a place in there that’s just for you. You really are better than you think!
As usual, I am not pretending to be an authority on the subject. In fact, I would really love to know if you have anything to add. This was a great way to reflect back on my blogging experience and I would love to hear about yours!